1988-89 CTPL Seasn & Grand FInal Review
The value of completing the roster series on stop can never be overstated. After the previous season’s glitch Clarence was back on top with 64 points, ahead of Glenorchy 54, SHSB 46 and New Town 36.
Winter weather greeted the semi-finalists and the memory of the 81-82 and 83-84 finals would have haunted all but minor premiers Clarence. This was to become the first finals series played at the revamped Bellerive Oval.
New Town skipper Keith Bradshaw scored his fifth century of the season (110) in the semi-final match against Clarence at Bellerive Oval to give his team a fighting chance of upsetting the reigning premiers, but the effort was in vain. Rain defeated their hopes on the second day after only fifteen overs in 55 minutes were possible: Clarence 27/0 drew with New Town 232. In the other semi-final at New Town oval Glenorchy, with skipper Michael Taylor (71*) in full flight, chased down SHSB’s 124 losing just three wickets along the way. Play on both days was hampered by the wind and rain.
Wicket preparation for the final had been restricted so the toss became a critical determination before play in the final at Bellerive began. The coin fell in favour of Clarence and in the space of five overs the match was virtually decided.
The news of Greg Campbell’s selection in the Australian cricket team to tour England during the week would have been a wonderful stimulation for the Tasmanian fast-medium pace bowler and he celebrated – not by sinking ales, but by sinking Glenorchy! In those five overs he blasted out four Glenorchy batsmen for only five runs. Campbell finished with 5/34 from an 18-over spell broken only by lunch as Glenorchy capitulated for 92.
With the game only 52 minutes old, Glenorchy’s innings was in shambles at 11/5, after Campbell cut a swath through Brendan Wilson (0), Mick Taylor (3), Chris Broadby (1) and Tony Wade (3). In between, his new-ball partner Peter McPhee chipped in with the wicket of Martin Bowerman (3).
If there had been any doubts about Campbell’s ability to bowl well under English conditions, then the balls he dismissed Wilson and Taylor with would have silenced them. The one that claimed Wilson pitched on middle and leg and hit off. Unplayable! His other prize was Taylor who’d scored 602 club runs and was the man who stood between Clarence and victory. The Glenorchy captain aimed to hit the ball through mid-on but it swung late and took the outside edge and Roger Woolley gobbled it up at third slip.
Thank goodness for Martin Kelly – had it not been for his fighting 41, Glenorchy would have been acutely embarrassed. He hung on by pure adhesiveness for 189 minutes and with Tim Bower, whose 20 was the only other double-figure score, put on 31 for the 8th wicket. On a wicket milked of its early life by the afternoon sun, Clarence passed its modest target for the loss of openers Bruce Patterson (12) and Peter Schofield (26).
By stumps Clarence had a mortgage on the flag by replying with 132/2, with state batsman Greg Shipperd leading the way with an unbeaten 79.
Clarence batted on for only an hour on the following day before the game was called off by mutual agreement of the captains. The hour allowed Shipperd to register his century – he batted for 189 minutes compiling his 103* and hit nine fours.
Clarence captain Michael Tame said he didn’t believe winning the toss had been that important. “It was nice to win, but I doubt it was a major factor in the game. We’ve easily the best attack in the competition with guys the like of Campbell, McPhee, Colegrave and Bevan who are capable of putting tremendous pressure on opposing batting sides.”
His counterpart Michael Taylor said “Glenorchy lost what little chance it had of getting back into the match by bowling wide of the stumps and not making the Clarence batsmen play enough.’
Clarence won the second, third and fourth grade premierships to take a clean sweep of TCA grades – the first time since Glenorchy had achieved the feat of all three premierships in 1956-57. South Hobart won all three grade titles in 1931-32 and Glenorchy previously performed the feat in 1951-52, 1952-53 and 1954-55.
Mercury reporter – David Stockdale